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Elsa Justel

Programme notes

Bastet, this naughty cat deity, has slipped into the piano box. Confused by the strange appearance of this place, she tries to find the exit while holding on to the strings.

The project is based on the notions of ambiguity, instability and chance. The material comes from sounds produced by piano strings, guitar and snare drum through unconventional modes of excitement (by rubbing, scratching and hitting, or using various items, such as wooden and metal sticks, nail file, paper, etc.). I was exploring the spectral instability unique to string sounds with the intention of producing nuances of character and effects of ambiguity. Some digital treatments allow to change the personality of sound, so it is possible to obtain sounds similar to percussion or wind instruments. Also, I have let chance, this ineffable assistant, play a role in order to lead us to unexpected discoveries.

[English translation: François Couture, viii-07]

Bastet was realized in 2004 at the studio of the Association pour la recherche et l’expérimentation musicale (APREM) in Nevers (France) and premiered on March 20, 2004 during the concert season of APREM. The piece was commissioned by the French State (Music Office) and the APREM (Nevers, France). Bastet was awarded the Prix Ton Bruynèl 2005 (Amsterdam, Netherlands) — “The jury admired the sophisticated sounds and immense technical command in this work. A daring and elegant composition, very carefully structured and humourous as well.”


  • March 20, 2004, Concert, Théâtre municipal de Nevers, Nevers (Nièvre, France)


  • Composer(s): Elsa Justel
  • Year of composition: 2004
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Commission: French State (Music Office), APREM
  • ISWC: T0045429728
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Duration: 10:37
  • ISRC: CAD500720760